Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today chaired the meeting to take stock of sites to be taken up under the scheme “Revival, Restoration, Preservation & Maintenance of Architecture and Heritage in Jammu & Kashmir”.The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary, Culture; Secretary, Tourism; Director Tourism, Jammu and several other government officers from the concerned Departments.
The Chief Secretary impressed upon the officers to include as many sites as possible that have rich cultural importance and social appeal. He underscored the need of striking the balance in selection of sites belonging to different socio-religious communities.
Dr Mehta advised the officers to take best care of the original ingredients and architecture while carrying out the restoration works on these heritage sites. He stressed on maintaining the aesthetic, cultural and historic aura of each site while taking up any new works at these sites.
The sites include dozens of sites from both the divisions of UT. Some of the prominent sites to be taken up for revival and restoration includes Basohli Fort Kathua, Machail Mata Temple, Sarthal Mata Temple, Shriomani Deri Nangali Sahib Gurudwara Poonch, Sharika Devi Tempke Srinagar, Baba Shukoor-ud-Din Baramulla, Shamas Faqeer Budgam, Sheikh ulAlam Shrine Qaimoh Kulgam and dozens of others across all the districts of J&K.
On the occasion the Chief Secretary also asked the officers to have close coordination between the School Education, Higher Education, Rural Development, Urban Development and Youth Services & Sports Departments in order to give fillip to the cultural and sports activities at the Panchayat level.
Dr Mehta observed that each person irrespective of age, gender or economic background has some inherent talent in him and only needs some encouragement to showcase it. He maintained that our younger generation is exceptionally talented and deserves handholding to bring best out of them.
He underlined the need of providing them opportunities at each level for making big in their lives. He asked the departments to integrate the ongoing Sports activities with those of cultural activities. He told them to use these events for promotion of ‘Nasha Mukht Abhiyan’ and ‘Digital Literacy’ for the benefit of masses.
The Chief Secretary further emphasised on making the twin cities vibrant cultural hubs where some sort of activities are going on daily basis. He made out that the relevant places like Bahu Fort, Mubarak Mandi, Char Chinar, Nehru Park besides the infrastructure present in these cities should be fully utilized to promote the local culture and artists here.
The Chief Secretary also took stock of the process of selecting sites for the revival and restoration of heritage in different districts of J&K. The meeting also provided the accord of Administrative Approval for carrying out the restoration, preservation and maintenance of Salal Fort, a heritage site in the Reasi district of the UT.